While most Americans spent Memorial Day enjoying picnics, watching patriotic parades, and waving the Stars and Stripes, the Los Angeles Times took a different approach to the holiday: The daily newspaper provided advice on its front page for activists weary from their ongoing efforts to bring down President Donald Trump.
After five months of having a GOP President in the White House, several liberal Democrats have found that "conjuring conspiracy theories, painting offensive signs, disrupting town halls in other people’s congressional districts, tweeting “#Resistance” and scouring the media for signs of Trump’s imminent impeachment is bad for mental and physical health."
That quote comes from an article by Breitbart's Joel B. Pollack, which also stated: “The Los Angeles Times devoted precious space on its front page on Memorial Day to a story about how anxious anti-Trump activists are finding ways to relax.”
Pollack quoted from an article written by Times reporter Esmeralda Bermudez:
Many activists in Los Angeles have been in the trenches for years, fighting for immigrant rights and social justice. They know strategy. They know crisis.
But five months into the Trump presidency, they’ve never had their endurance so tested.
“So, in need of relief themselves,” she indicated, they go to “longtime community organizer Victor Narro for help” during workshops and webinars, “where he tells them to unplug, garden, hike, dance, volunteer, build altars at their cubicles and look at photos that bring them joy.”
After all, the Times reporter noted: “They’re in it for the long haul. President Trump still has nearly 200 more weeks in office.”
Narro “teaches them how to slow down and breathe deeply,” Bermudez noted. “He gets them to stretch, to close their eyes and meditate.”
The community organizer “also tells them to be vigilant” because Trump “wants to make you angry. He wants you to lose focus. But we’re not going to let that happen.”
“The project director at the UCLA [University of California, Los Angeles] Downtown Labor Center, who has organized immigrants on the front lines for decades, lately has dedicated himself to spreading the gospel of self-care to legions of overextended protesters, lawyers and outreach workers,” the Times reporter stated.
“If you’re going to be at your best for the people you’re trying to help,” Narro told them, “you have to take care of yourself.”
Trump's election “was such a blow to so many people who had dedicated themselves to this lifetime struggle,” said Roberto Vargas of the New World Associates, a firm that provides leadership support for advocacy groups.
Vargas noted: “It left them feeling like, ‘Now what? How do I get up from here, and how will I lift others with me?’”
As a result, he “began hosting activist gatherings at his home in Ventura,” Bermudez noted. “Some nights, people talk until midnight” while he “tries to offer practical tips.”
“Fear of deportation runs deep now, even though there hasn’t been an increase in mass raids since Trump took over,” Bermudez stated.
“Every arrest sends waves of anxiety through immigrant communities,” she stated. “Stories spread about individuals being picked up even though they’ve committed no serious crimes.”
“On its website, Carecen -- an organization that runs a youth center and a parent center -- declares in capital letters: “We will not allow a Trump administration to attack our communities.”
“But living up to that promise is wearying,” Bermudez asserted.
During one recent gathering, “Narro listened to everything the group had to say. He told them their feelings were justified, but that they had more control than they thought.”
Nevertheless, “Chavez constantly reminds his members via email and social media to call elected officials and try to hold back Trump and his fellow Republicans,” Bermudez stated.
When he comes home after a stressful day, Chavez said, “he tries to unplug from the news. So does his girlfriend, who works for a congressman and spends hours fielding calls from constituents upset about Trump. She unwinds with yoga. The two joke a lot.”
“We’ve learned that the best thing to do at the end of each day is to keep it light,” Chavez said. “And to leave all those worries at the door.”
However, Pollak indicated: “Another remedy -- namely, accepting the results of a democratic election and working together with the new administration on issues of common interest -- has apparently never been considered.”